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Leaders Among Us Southern Illinoisans who have a positive impact on their communities
“One Region, One Vision” ™
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John A. Logan College is proud of Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Jaclyn Hancock.
A TRUE LEADER AMONG US! Thank you for your dedication to JALC and all of southern Illinois
Serving 18 Illinois counties •
“One Region, One Vision” ™
he Southern Business Journal is a T monthly publication of The Southern Illinoisan. Contact us via mail at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL, or at P.O. Box 2108, Carbondale, IL, 62903. Also reach us on the web at www.sbj. biz and via email at SBJ@thesouthern. com. Copyright 2014 by The Southern Illinoisan. All rights reserved. Information about how to subscribe may be obtained by calling 618-529-5454, or by visiting www.sbj.biz.
UBLISHER: P John Pfiefer, 618-351-5038 EDITOR: Gary Metro, 618-351-5033 WRITER: Les O’Dell COPY EDITOR: Cara Recine, 618-351-5075 COPY EDITOR: Mary Thomas Layton, 618-351-5071 ADVERTISING: Tim Stuart, 618-351-5015 CIRCULATION: Kim Fowler, 618-351-5035
Behesha Doan On Your Leaders Among Us Recognition! We are proud of the service you provide our veterans!
Meeting 7:30 am each Wednesday at Crab Orchard Golf Club
Proudly Serving Southern Illinois.
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Meet the Leaders Among Us Class of 2014 It is an honor for The Southern Illinoisan to present the “Leaders Among Us Class of 2014” in this special publication. Each Pfeifer of our outstanding honorees has uniquely served his or her community and enriched the lives of his or her friends and neighbors. The men and Metro women profiled in the following pages share a common trait — service. Each is working in his or her own way to make Southern Illinois a better place to live, work and get an education.
These are people who labor outside the confines of their employment to improve our region, though most also are working in more-than-full-time capacities. Some are essential for volunteer efforts offered through churches, civic groups or schools. Some are well-known and recognized as leaders who will serve Southern Illinois through several generations. Others work away from the spotlight to bring people and progress to the region. As was the case with 10 previous years of honored leaders — more than 100 in total — you are likely to be impressed by the diversity of this year’s honorees. They live in communities
dotted across Southern Illinois, some quite distant from others. But they all understand our region is the greater community to which we all belong — One Region, One Vision. These leaders are simply the best. In addition to being honored in this magazine, the “Leaders” were honored May 21 at the Community Leaders’ Breakfast at John A. Logan College in Carterville. The breakfast was part of a series sponsored by The Southern Illinoisan and Southern Business Journal. JOHN PFEIFER is publisher and GARY METRO is editor of Southern Business Journal and The Southern Illinoisan. They can be reached at 618-529-5454 or sbj@thesouthern. com.
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Southern Business Journal : May 2014 3
Black Diamond Harley-Davidson
Owners of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson, Shad Zimbro and Rodney Cabaness
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Did you know? Shad Zimbro and Rodney Cabaness grew up in Sesser, and they are lifelong friends.
ecipients of the Leaders Among Us designation are usually individuals recognized for their service and leadership to causes and communities in Southern Illinois. Occasionally, the honor has gone to a married couple, but never before has a business pair been named together as Leaders Among Us — until now. This isn’t the first time Rodney Cabaness and Shad Zimbro have done something out of the norm. Cabaness and Zimbro purchased Campbell’s Harley-Davidson in Marion in 2007, and soon things at the dealership began to rev up.
Under a new name, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson, the Marion-based dealership has become one of the nation’s highest-volume motorcycle dealers. The pair, however, chooses not to focus on sales figures, but rather on customer satisfaction, having fun and giving back to Southern Illinois. “Our most important number is customer satisfaction,” Cabaness, 43, explains. “That’s the one we focus on the most. We figure if we take care of customers, the rest will take care of themselves.” So, how does Black Diamond take care of customers? Cabaness says a primary objective is to build relationships with potential customers and make sure they get what they want by creating an environment that caters to customers. To him, that means making Black Diamond somewhere that customers want to be. “It means fun, having fun and enjoying life and enjoying motorcycles and all that surrounds that lifestyle,” he says. To do that, Cabaness and Zimbro have found a way to bring potential customers into the dealership while still giving back to the region. Black Diamond has hosted concerts, special events for women, fundraisers and even wrestling matches. “We want to create something for people to do on the weekends,” Cabaness says. “We do free food and music during the summer. We just put it out there. In the big cities, you have theater and arts. Here in Southern Illinois, we’re trying to do that in our own unique way, creating ways for people to experience fun things.”
That includes using their facilities, including their state-ofthe-art warehouse, for events. “Little did we know when we built it that it would be used for concerts and other things,” Jeremy Pinkston, marketing director for Black Diamond, says. “Now it seems it has become more than a warehouse, almost an entertainment hall.” It’s all part of giving back. “Giving back has been one of the main philosophies and missions we have had since the very beginning,” Pinkston explains. “We’ve always felt that if we are successful and the community supports us, then we are going to give back to the community.” Zimbro, 41, says community involvement is a principle of doing business for the company. “People that buy most of our motorcycles and spend their money here are people in Southern Illinois, and so we give back as much as we can,” he says. “As long as the people keep supporting us and bringing their friends from other places, we’ll keep supporting the people in Southern Illinois.” Black Diamond plans on continuing to give back. The company recently completed its first-ever “Pay it Forward” program, simply doing random acts of kindness such as buying gasoline or pizza for local residents. Last year, the dealership gave away a motorcycle a month; this year, plans are to give away a complete home. “The people here have supported us from day one whenever we started, and as long as that keeps happening, we’re going to keep giving back and thank you all Southern Illinois,” Zimbro says.
Southern Business Journal : May 2014
Chuck Cockrum enjoys television dramas — just not when they are originally broadcast. ‘It’s hard for me to watch a lot of programs when they air, so I let a whole season go by,’ he says. ‘Then, I’ll watch an entire season at once. Sometimes, we’ll watch two or three episodes a night.’
harles “Chuck” Cockrum is a small-town guy, but he doesn’t take offense at that description. In fact, it’s something he’s very proud of, just as he is of his small town. That’s a good thing, because he’s served as mayor of the village of West City since 2007.
Pride in his community and the motivation to serve come naturally for Cockrum, 34. His father was the village’s mayor throughout the 1990s. The younger Cockrum first began his service as a member of the village board. “I got elected with the highest vote count ever recorded in our town,” he says, not in a boastful way, but simply as a matter of fact. “I served nine months, and then the mayor decided to retire. The board decided I’d be a good guy for the job. I served out the remainder of his term, and I’ve been mayor ever since.”
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Cockrum says he originally ran for the village board because he wanted to be more involved in the community, and there were things he wanted to accomplish for the town. “Some people think it’s a lot of headaches to be mayor, but I do it because I can see the things I do and how they impact the people who live in the community,” he says. “I guess you could be someone who goes into an office and not do anything at all, but that’s not me.” He leads by drawing on advice he got from his father.
“He always said that it’s never too late to become what you could have been. He also said that the early bird may get the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese,” he recalls. “To me, that means it’s good to always hit things off and go at it, but sometimes you need to sit back and let things play out while you watch. That’s how I govern. I try not to keep my hands in everything and micromanage.” Cockrum is both an early bird and a second mouse. He is careful to consider the impact of ideas, but he’s also eager to
Charles Cockrum Jon-Erik Bradford
put ideas into practice. His work has ranged from efforts to attract more businesses to West City and increased cooperation with neighboring Benton, to recycling programs and efforts simply to make the village a better place to live. “I have small children who hopefully will grow up in West city and will want to stay here,” he explains. “I know the trends. In 2000, we had 900 people; today we have 660. Most of the kids who grew up with me have moved away to other places. I’ve dug in here, and I’m here for the long run. I want West City to be a good place to live.” For Cockrum, that means working in ways that benefit the region as a whole. He has been instrumental in barbecue
cook-offs and the yearly fireworks exhibition at Rend Lake, and he even started West City’s annual fall festival. “Every town seems to have a homecoming, but we really didn’t have anything. I wanted something where people would come out and there would be activities, fun and giveaways,” he says. “The goal is to have lots of different things for people to do so they could hang out with their neighbors.” Cockrum also has given neighbors a chance to get together for community movie nights. “I bought a 40-foot inflatable screen and a projector. We got a popcorn machine, and we have bounce houses, and we watch classic movies,” he says.
“We want to do fun things to engage people.” He says he is very appreciative of those who serve with him and look to him. “Our whole board, without them having faith in me, I couldn’t do anything,” he says. “We’re trying to cater mainly to the needs of West City, but it also benefits Benton and all of the people in the rural areas. It goes beyond the village limits. I have this mentality that if people see me doing something, and maybe that something gets attention to a charity or causes, that’s a good thing. It’s great when you can promote awareness of programs that impact other people.” All of his mayoral duties, plus being a father and an eight-year
employee of Enviro-Tech, keep him busy. Cockrum likes it that way. “Sometimes I have trouble relaxing,” he admits. “I’m always trying to think of something.” And what is he thinking of next? He won’t exactly say. “There are a few projects I want to see get done, and there might be more,” he hints. “I think once we get to a point where we have everything in place and some positive things going, there are some things I want to see.” Whatever those ideas are and whatever he is able to accomplish, Cockrum plans on staying grounded and close to his West City roots. After all, he likes being a small-town guy. “I’m a normal person.”
Southern Business Journal : May 2014
Behesha Doan V
eterans returning from overseas deployments face many challenges. Not only are there struggles of entering “normal” life in the states again, sometimes there are issues that can’t be seen or even explained — issues that manifest themselves in both internal and external ways — making life anything but normal. Those conditions can leave veterans on the outside — far from the way life used to be, distant, isolated, reclusive and, all too often, without hope. The despair and overwhelming oppressiveness of their conditions lead 22 veterans to take their own lives each day.
Carbondale’s Behesha Doan knows the dedication of military personnel. Her brother was a “lifer” in the U.S. Air Force, and she also understands the long-lasting effects of trauma. She herself is a trauma survivor. Given those experiences and her more than 20 years as a professional dog trainer, she knew she could make a connection. The result is This Able Veteran, a Southern Illinois-based program that trains service dogs to work with veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or similar conditions. TAV also trains the veterans to work with these service dogs. The program aims to return hope to injured veterans while assisting them in managing and overcoming the psychological and physical injuries of combat. It’s no small endeavor, taking years and thousands of dollars for each veteran-dog team. The results, however, are impressive. “Our program is not just a matter of placing dogs with veterans. Ours is a multifaceted approach where we involve the clinician, ourselves and the dog in a triad, creating what we call a veteran-centric model,” Doan says. “This Able Veteran makes contact with the veteran’s therapist, and that allows us to learn about what that veteran is struggling with the most. That allows us to train the dogs to help them in those very areas.” She says the program, which has placed 17 dogs so far, works on a simple premise.
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“Many times with trauma, the hardest part is putting it all into words,” she explains. “Dogs don’t have words, so being able to relate to them without words is the key. I feel like it is my role to translate, to be the Rosetta stone for them. From that perspective, put a dog and a veteran together, saying you don’t know it, but you both totally understand each other. With this, TAV was born.” By the time the veterans meet their new canine companions, the dogs have undergone as many as three years of training. The dogs are trained to interrupt the cycles of PTSD by alerting veterans of the earliest signs of anxiety and panic attacks. For instance, if a veteran’s therapist notes that before an attack, the veteran subtly begins to form a fist, the service dog will pick up on it and alert the veteran. “The dogs can read it so quickly. When this action happens — it’s when things are starting to escalate for him — the dog interrupts that and lets him know that it is starting and that he needs to do what he has learned to do. The dog indicates, but you have to take the action,” Doan says. “It’s an early detection system and serves as an indicator. That’s the essence of a PTSD dog — one that has the training to recognize what is unique to each veteran.” The dogs are just one component of the program. Additionally, the trauma resiliency
program compliments the training the dogs receive by working with the veterans and their own therapists to maximize the effectiveness of having a service dog. Veterans are taught that they must attend to their dogs during stressful situations. Likewise, the dogs provide comfort to the veteran during those same encounters. The result is unlike practically any other therapy available to veterans. Doan says This Able Veteran receives hundreds of applications for each program class. She cautions, however, that not every veteran is ready for the intensive program. Participants must have a deep and proven desire to change. “One of the requirements is that the veteran is already receiving assistance,” she says. “We don’t want to provide a dog for them and then they can go isolate with the dog. They have to be ready to change when they get here. The goal is recovery. The goal is to get back to a life.” She describes the work as vitally important. “Because there are people who have laid their lives on the line for us and they came home different than when they left, we must do this,” she adds. “They were taught how to adjust and go in, but they weren’t taught how to adjust when they came back. To be able to provide a practical, effective means for veterans to reclaim their lives is work worth doing.”
ehesha Doan is an avid B photographer. ‘I love taking photographs of old homesteads,’ she says. ‘I just love to think about the stories that are there.’
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Gillespie 10 Southern Business Journal : May 2014
wo spaces are reserved in the parking lot that Carbondale’s Hannah House Child Development Center shares with Greater Gillespie Temple. One is set aside for the pastor, and the other is clearly marked: “Reserved for First Lady Mother Addie Gillespie.” It’s a designation of honor for Gillespie, whose husband, Bishop Charles Gillespie, is pastor of the church. The label is appropriate because she helps lead members of the congregation, many of whom look up to her. Perhaps the title is even more apt because of what she has done for hundreds of children and their families at the accompanying daycare center.
Miss Addie, as the children at Hannah House call her, has been the visionary and driving force behind the daycare. “We’ve been here since 1978, and I had a vision that went with the church,” she recalls. “It was to help the homeless and the needy, but part of it also was to help the kids that really needed an education. I thought we might do a homeless shelter, but, when I got counseling from some of the leaders at the church,
they felt we needed to do the school first.” So, Gillespie, along with another woman from the church, began caring for 11 children in the back of the pastor’s office while plans were made for construction of the childcare center. “I went looking throughout the church to see who had qualifications to be the director,” Gillespie says. “Different people came up to me and said they could do
mother, some need counsel, it, but the spirit of God told some need spiritual help.” me, ‘No, they’re not the ones; Gillespie says she sees you’ve got to do this.’ I was in herself in many of the children my 50s, but I said OK to God.” and parents. With that, she enrolled in “I can remember being early childhood classes at John small and having nobody A. Logan College. to push me. I know that I “I was in class with 30 or 40 probably could have been young people. I was the oldest pushed or urged a bit higher, one there, and I didn’t know but I think, though, that I’m what they were expecting of right where God wants me.” me,” Gillespie admits. “I was so She does, however, work to unsettled and unsure. I didn’t encourage and motivate the even know if I would be able students at Hannah House. to pass the classes or not, but “A lot of the kids here don’t the first semester wasn’t too have two parents, and the one bad. The second semester was they do have often better, and, by the is so tied up with third, I was on the work or school or dean’s list.” Did you other issues, they By the time she ? know sometimes can’t give finished her degree, Addie the children the the center was Gillespie is a time or attention almost completed, fan of classic they need.” too. At first, it was television. Gillespie says licensed to provide Her favorite that attention takes care for 60 children. show? ‘I really many forms. An expansion, not like Bonanza,’ “I know that if long after opening, she says. only these kids have expanded capacity someone to watch to 105. True to her them, somebody to promise, Gillespie push them, somebody to help served as director, a post she them, somebody to motivate continues to hold today at them or to love them, then age 72. Since the beginning, they could really be someone,” the center has been known as she adds. “Sometimes we give Hannah House. them discipline, sometimes it’s “I felt God said to name structure, and sometimes it’s the facility Hannah House,” just a hug.” she says. “When Hannah For all of her efforts, prayed for a child, she said: Gillespie has never taken ‘If you give me one, I will give a salary. him back to you.’ If he gives “I do what I do because I me children, I’ll give them love God, and I love people. back to him in prayer. Every There are so many rewards,” day I tell God these are his she says. “When I see kids who children, so please help us to graduate from here, and they educate them.” get to high school and they Gillespie says she prays for earn high honors, that makes the children daily, and she me proud. Sometimes they realizes it goes beyond just the come back and tell us that little ones. they’re doing well and that “We don’t just serve the they appreciate the start that kids, but we serve the families, Hannah House gave them. too,” she says, adding that she I really don’t need a salary often draws upon her own because I get paid every day. I childhood in working with get to see changes in people’s families. “I came from Detroit, lives. Personally, what I get out from a real poor background. of this is the feeling that this is My upbringing helps me a my calling. When I lie down at lot, because I recognize the night, I have the assurance that needs of people when they I am doing what is God’s will come in. It’s not just that they for me.” need childcare; some need a
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Did you know? Lee Hackney loves do-ityourself home renovations. â€˜I can do plumbing, tile work, floors and all,â€™ she says.
Lee Hackney 12 Southern Business Journal : May 2014
t’s a very long way from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to the quiet countryside of Union County. In some ways, the distance between leading a crew of sailors and coordinating small groups of volunteers at Anna Arts Center must be measured in more than miles. But for Lee Hackney, who has done both, there are as many similarities as differences. Hackney once commanded ships for a living as a captain in the U.S. Navy. Responsible for a crew of 1,000 sailors and 1,500 marines on-board, she calls her naval service a wonderful career. “My major command was the USS Saipan. We call it a baby aircraft carrier because it is only three football fields long instead of four,” she says, smiling. It was the last in a long string of command posts for the Florida native who attended college on a Navy ROTC scholarship and, as she says, “drove ships for a living.” She commanded the Saipan for two years, being one of the first to set sail to the Mideast during the crisis in Iraq. Through it all, she led with a style she calls covenant leadership. “I want to build relationships with my people; it’s very important,” she says. “Even with my 1,000-person crew, I made it a point to do walk-arounds every day in the morning and afternoon. I would meet the crew and talk to whoever I came in contact with, trying to learn about their families, their hobbies and other things, so I would have something to talk with them about. I didn’t talk about work, but as they got to know me, they would make suggestions on how we could do things better.” She says if their ideas were good, she would implement them and publicly credit the sailor who made the suggestion. If an idea didn’t make the grade, she would tell them why she couldn’t put it into practice, making the best of the opportunity for dialogue. “With covenant leadership, it is like I am making a contract with you,” she says. “I tell you my expectations and give you resources and training to accomplish the task.” Born Norma Lee Hackney and named after both parents, Hackney began going by just Lee. “I thought Lee was a little more carefree and, of course, in the Navy it served me very well,” she says, sharing stories of silently waiting for on-board meetings, listening to sailors who expected to be led by a male, only to be surprised when they found out who Lee really was. “I think anyone gets the same challenges, whether you are male or female. You just smile and go on,” she says. “Stay focused on your vision, where you want to go and what your goals are.” After retiring from the Navy in 2006, she cared for her ailing mother until she passed in 2011. Then she was ready for some new adventures. “A friend of mine said she was moving to Anna, telling me that I had been in Florida for years and it was time to move,” she says. “To be honest, I needed to do
something different, so this has been a great experience for me.” She says, though, it’s taken some getting used to. “This is the first time I’ve lived this far away from the water,” she says. “This is a really great area, and there are lots of lakes, so that’s good. What I really think is neat, though, are the people. This is a wonderful community, and I love the way that everyone interacts and supports one another.” Not long after relocating, Hackney took a lifelong love of drawing and art and got involved with Anna Arts Center in a weekend program about the Civil War. She agreed to take charge. Her style of covenant leadership came to use again. “It was a wonderful experience. We had more than 100 volunteers, and I was able to pull in P.A.S.T. and the local women’s club.” The next year, she was named the art center’s director, a full-time volunteer post. She says it merges two of her passions — art and leadership. “It’s fun because I’m working with a whole different group of volunteers. I think you can lead volunteers sort of like you do in the Navy, to a certain extent, as far as painting the vision and saying this is where we want to go. But, like in the Navy, I feel you have to get buy-in from everyone. That’s crucial.” It must work because, under her direction, Anna Arts Center has involved other organizations — from school groups to quilting clubs — and expanded programs of all types, extending the center’s reach to new audiences and patrons. “I don’t only lead. I really work with other leaders in other organizations to see how we can work together,” she says. “You have to do that. I think you have to be a collaborator.” She continues to work with others, building coalitions and teams. “You can’t do anything without a great team, and we’re putting them together. People are calling us, saying they have ideas. I love that, and I love this community. There are some great things going on here.” Although it may be a long way from the deck of an aircraft carrier, Hackney is glad to be ashore in Southern Illinois. “This is my community, and this is where I live.” Southern Business Journal : May 2014
Did you know? Jackie Hancock is an avid reader. Her love of books goes back to her childhood, when she taught herself to read by looking at comic books. ‘I’d look at the pictures and didn’t think that was good enough,’ she says.
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he late Rev. David Hancock had a special name for his wife of 48 years. He called her “Just One More Thing Jackie,” and the name is very appropriate. Throughout her life, Jaclyn “Jackie” Hancock has always been doing just one more thing.
Like many educators, Hancock was reluctant to say no to projects, activities and ways of helping others, especially if the endeavor helped make people feel better about themselves. “I think I do it all because, in my mind’s eye, I feel that everyone is important and everybody can give something,” she says. “If I can help someone feel better about themselves and help them build their confidence, I love that.” Hancock, 74, taught for 38 years. After a year teaching junior high in Pittsburg, she spent 28 years at Marion High School, teaching speech, theater and English. Additionally, there were clubs she advised, plays she produced, allschool variety shows that she directed and dozens of hours of coaching competitive public speaking. “I took kids all over Illinois and Kentucky to compete,” she recalls, enjoying memories of taking once-shy teenagers and helping them become confident presenters. “I had some very interesting experiences with people who were very shy and turned out just fantastic. I remember this one girl who was very shy. She was very competent but lacked self-esteem. I worked with her on presence and working with her voice, that sort of thing. After her final speech, she came up to me and said, ‘I did it, didn’t I?’ meaning she carried herself perfectly all the way through.” Growing up in Marion, her love of performance began at an early age. “I have always loved drama,” she says. “My friends and I used to put on entertainment for the neighborhood in our garage. I always loved movies and going to church. My mother always told me that I couldn’t go to the movies if I didn’t go to Sunday school. But what I never told her was that I loved both, so I had it made.” Just before her senior year in college, she and the pastor were married. “Thank God, we don’t always stay true to what we thought earlier in life,” she explains. “I had always said that I didn’t want to marry a fairskinned, red-headed preacher, but I did. Being married to him was the
best time of my life.” Perhaps, it was while she was teaching high school that he began calling her “Just One More Thing Jackie,” because that’s when she also was acting in community theater and teaching community education classes for John A. Logan College, while directing plays for the college as well. “I loved it,” she says. “I loved it all.” That word “all” includes a 12-year stint working with the University of Illinois Extension service, teaching English and involvement in a number of community organizations, including service as a charter member of the board of directors for Marion Cultural and Civic Center Foundation, along with Marion Lioness Club and major involvement in both Marion Women’s Club and Illinois District 25 of General Federation of Women’s Clubs. In fact, she serves as president of the Marion club and vice president of the state southern region, overseeing a number of clubs throughout Southern Illinois. “It’s a national organization that promotes interests in six things of which I truly believe: arts, conservation, education, international outreach, public affairs and health and home life,” she outlines. “I really believe in all of those, and I love being a part of that. I like what the organization stands for, and I believe that being in organizations like this helps make the world a better place.” Hancock also works to make the region a better place as well. She’s using her experience as an educator in her latest role as a member of John A. Logan College Board of Trustees. “This is giving me a chance to see things from a different viewpoint,” she says. “I’m learning an awful lot, and I am so impressed with many of these young people at the college. If people could hear all of the good things that are happening, our attitude about the world would be different.” Many of those good things happen because Jackie Hancock is part of them — because she’s added just one more thing to her list of activities. That’s perfectly OK with her. “I have a lot of energy,” she says with a smile.
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Ray and Rose
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ose and Ray Hogan have never been elected in any formal capacity, neither have they been officially appointed to any post; yet, without even setting out to do so, the Hogans are, in many ways, unofficial ambassadors for Cobden. It’s a role they never planned on, but one they relish daily.
mechanical systems. Part of our “We really had no intention of goal was just not to lose another living here originally,” says Ray, 58. great old building. No one could “When we first came down to the afford to save a building like this area (from East St. Louis, where unless they have the sweat equity to both were raised), we worked in put into it and not much common the Carbondale area, but we’ve sense or a lot of money. It’s one of always lived in Union County. We the two.” were in Anna for 17 years before Fortunately, the couple had the moving to Cobden.” skills and desire to rehabilitate Now they are a central part of the building, earned from not the community — in more ways only the inspection business, but than one. They welcome guests from years of experience Ray had to Southern Illinois on an almost from his former construction and daily basis as owners of The Cabin remodeling company, a firm he at Mountain Glen, a luxury rental began shortly after graduating on the edge of Cobden. Together, from SIU. they own and operate Second “I’m a sucker for old buildings,” Look Home Inspections, and they Ray says. “There’s a soul to them. have renovated (and relocated This building themselves to) speaks to me. I Cobden’s Old Feed think what it is — Store, returning Did you know? us coming from the structure to its Although they both East St. Louis, former glory and its grew up in East St. where we lost a former role as a hub Louis, Rose and Ray lot — is a sense for the community. Hogan met when he of community. “In the was hired as summer Southern Illinois quintessential small help at the YMCA, is a great place to town, the feed store where she also worked. rebuild because we was the center of She says she saw him have that sense of town,” Ray says. and devised a plan to community, both in “There are hundreds get to know him better. our own towns and of people who come ‘I ditched my bike as a region. Each to our door and tell behind the Y and asked community can us that their dad him for a ride home one day,’ she says. have completely brought them here, different focuses their grandfather and still thrive; brought them here but, at the same or they remember time, all of those communities can buying peanuts here as a kid.” and often do come together as The actual feed store had been closed for a dozen years before the Southern Illinois.” Today, much of that sense of Hogans bought it. Then the work community in Cobden comes began, says Rose, 57. from the Old Feed Store, where “We owned it a couple of years the Hogans live in an upstairs before we moved in,” she says. apartment and host numerous “The first year, we spent cleaning community, charitable and special it up and stabilizing the structure; events ranging from retirement the second year was hooking parties and community gatherings up the water and fixing the
to concerts. “My thing is that you have to build a community to have a good community. You really do have to model for your kids and the others around that you give locally. You give regionally. If you have the opportunity, you give nationally, and you try to do something internationally, too. Even if it’s just little, small things, we are all connected in long ways through all the areas of our lives,” Rose explains. The couple continues to make those connections and promote Cobden. Rose is active in the Union County Women in Business organization, the pair was partially responsible for the establishment of Cobden Community and Business Association, and they help in countless ways with local events such as the annual Peach Festival and Colorfest. In all things, Ray says he’s a promoter, while Rose keeps everything smoothly running. “She’s great on the book work and in the background. Me, I’ve got some P.T. Barnum in me. One man’s hobby might be fishing; mine is, ‘Let’s do Colorfest!’” In the end, people see what we do as a team, and that’s the dynamic of interacting with the community. It builds things, and it is something we really enjoy.” In many ways, the Hogans are a sort of renaissance couple — a throwback to another time, an era of Norman Rockwell paintings and community potlucks — encouraging others to come together and enjoy the place they call home. “I guess we are ambassadors for our community,” Rose says. “I always tell people to come to Cobden. It’s a great place.”
“Each community can have completely different focuses and still thrive; but, at the same time, all of those communities can and often do come together as Southern Illinois.” Ray Hogan
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The Southern File Photo
Ellis Mitchell (left) poses for a picture with his sons, Timothy (center) and Patrick, in 2009 at Universal Glass in Carbondale.
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llis Mitchell left his mark around Carbondale and throughout Southern Illinois. The 86-year-old civic leader and owner of Universal Glass passed away in early April, shortly after learning of his selection as one of 2014’s Leaders Among Us. The honor, perhaps, is overdue. “He was a leader,” says longtime friend Bob O’Daniel of Carbondale. “He could grab a project by the tail and see it through.”
“He was always a willing worker and would give his own resources and knew how to approach others with resources, too. He was a valuable person to have on your side because if he got involved, he got involved all the way.” Bob O’Daniel, friend of Ellis Mitchell
In many ways, Mitchell was a true visionary. He could see things that needed to be done long before anyone else. Beyond just ideas, however, O’Daniel says a lot of thinking went into Mitchell’s proposals. “He was a leader with a lot of good ideas. When Ellis mentioned something, he already had all of his details worked out and planned out,” he says. Many of those ideas and plans came to life as projects of the local Lions Club, where he was a member for 63 years. Those ideas included starting the popular Carbondale Lions Club Pancake Days hosted in the spring and fall of each year, the preservation of Carbondale’s Town Square Pavilion and the city’s annual Independence Day fireworks display. In fact, he was the driving force behind all three. “If Ellis were standing here today, I think he’d probably tell you that he single-handedly preserved the pavilion,” says Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity. “Whether that is the case or not, I’m not sure, but I do know he was very, very instrumental in it.” His work on the Town Square earned Mitchell some publicity. “I had read about him in the paper, especially during the pavilion work,” recalls Larry Meyer of Murphysboro. “I kept reading how he was saving the place. Then I met him when I joined the Lions Club, and I was surprised by him in a couple of ways. He was very dedicated, but he had this sort of gruff way about him that at first made me wonder if I really wanted to belong. Then I learned he was the backbone of the club; but what really got me was his generosity with all kinds of things.” Meyer says whenever someone at a Lions meeting would bring up a particular cause or charity, it was usually Mitchell who said, “We should give to that,” and be the first to open his checkbook. “Sometimes you kind of wondered about him; but, in the end, he was a wonderful Lion, civic leader and Southern Illinoisan,” he says. O’Daniel describes Mitchell as a “stand-up guy.”
people to contribute toward the display. “You always knew where you stood “He was always a willing worker and with him; and, when he made a would give his own resources and knew suggestion, you took it seriously,” how to approach others with resources, he adds. too,” O’Daniel says. “He was a valuable “There were times when we worked person to have on your together that he could be side because if he got the harshest guy around involved, he got involved with sarcasm; and then, 30 all the way.” minutes later, he could be Did you know? Mitchell is remembered the kindest, most gracious, Ellis Mitchell received for his tireless work for person you could find,” the Melvin Jones award Carbondale. says Jerre Pfaff, a friend for his work with the “There are many things for 44 years. Lions Club. It is the he did for the city that Mitchell was the spark club’s highest honor. Additionally, he and his I probably do not even behind Carbondale’s wife, Betty, were named know about,” Pfaff says. annual fireworks display Citizens of the Year in “He was a great guy and for 43 years, acting on 2000 by Carbondale made this place a better a suggestion from his Chamber of Commerce. place to live.” wife, Betty, that the city O’Daniel points out needed a Fourth of July that he was a strong celebration, and the Lions supporter of the Club should handle it. university and community at large. He raised the money, worked with the “There are still some ideas he was city and university to make all of the arrangements, bought the fireworks and talking about recently that I’m pretty sure will be acted on,” he says. “Like all supervised the shooting. of the others, they make sense and will Even in the year prior to his death, be beneficial to our community.” when primary responsibility for the “Ellis Mitchell really left a legacy celebration moved from the Lions to the city, Mitchell was one of the first business here,” Baity adds.
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Did you know? Tammy Newbold says she
isn’t particularly proud of it, but she’s addicted to playing Candy Crush on her phone. ‘I think I’m at level 286,’ she says.
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ook around Tammy Newbold’s reading intervention classroom at Herrin’s North Side Primary Center and something will strike you as unusual. It’s not the peewee-sized chairs, nor is it the alphabet blocks and picture books. After all, this is a room for kindergarteners and first-graders. What is unusual about Newbold’s classroom are the dogs.
Yes, dogs. As in canines. Golden Retrievers. Specifically, their names are Riley and Amos, and they are Newbold’s secret teaching tool. Every morning, Newbold, 54, teaches physical education at the school, sometimes with as many as eight classes of elementary students. In fact, she’s been a PE teacher and coach in the Herrin school district since she earned her teaching certificate. She’s coached everything from volleyball to swimming and even boys’ track and field. But it is her afternoons, after she goes home for lunch and picks up Riley and Amos, that things get interesting. Trained by Willing Partners, both are certified therapy dogs. Willing Partners is a canine training facility based in the small Franklin County community of Logan. The two dogs are a central focus of Reading with Riley, a special program created by Newbold and North Side Principal Cassie Burgess. “When I started working with reading, I asked if Mrs. Burgess knew that I had two therapy dogs. We presented our idea to use them to the board with some research-based information. That’s how we came up with Reading with Riley,” Newbold says. As part of the program, the dogs are present during teaching sessions. Just having the dogs there changes the way students approach the program and helps move the learning process forward.
“The kids see coming to reading intervention not as a chore, but as a reward,” she explains. “The dogs help the kids calm down.” She says Amos and Riley also help boost the kids’ self-esteem, making them want to learn and achieve more. “Sometimes the dogs will come in and put their heads on one of the children’s laps, and he or she will say, ‘That’s Riley. I love him,’ and I will say to the student that Riley loves him, too. That makes a huge difference.” The dogs also provide comfort in other situations. Riley and Amos are very popular during severe weather as the children take shelter in school hallways. Even other school staff members ask for “therapy” when they are having bad days, Newbold says. “I try to do things that are extraordinary and challenge the kids in different ways than what the routine reading teacher does. I love being able to do this,” she says. Newbold also takes the dogs to nursing homes and juvenile detention centers, offering comfort to residents. And, of course, Amos and Riley add much to her own life. “They have rejuvenated me as a teacher, too, and given me something different,” she says. “Having the dogs and working in reading has even made me a better PE teacher. I mean, I get to take my dogs to school with me. It just does something amazing.”
Southern Business Journal : May 2014 23
itting across the desk from Steve Webb in the white building that serves as his office, it’s easy to determine that he is a school superintendent. Binders of curriculum wait on a credenza, folders of documents from the Illinois Association of School Administrators are piled on the desk, and photographs of school activities adorn the walls. Even Webb himself looks the part. Dressed in a Goreville Blackcats polo shirt, with a walkie-talkie at the ready, the superintendent is ready for whatever comes his way. It’s almost like he was made for the job. Maybe he was. After all, Webb’s father Bob was principal at the same school. In fact, his dad served as athletic director and was responsible for starting the girls’ softball and basketball programs. Webb, 44, attended Goreville schools himself, and hails from a rather large family in the area. “This has always been my home,” he says. “This school has always been here, and my dad was a huge part of this community, my mom as well. It’s natural to be here.” After graduating from Goreville High School in 1987, Webb played collegiate basketball, first at John A. Logan College and then at McKendree while studying to be a biology teacher and coach. While still working on his degree, he got a job at the local high school. Then, just after graduation, he returned to Southern Illinois, taking a job as a biology and physical education teacher as well as athletic director and basketball coach. Just one year later, when he was named dean of students, he became one of the youngest school administrators ever in the state . He was 22. “The superintendent retired, the principal became superintendent, and he wanted me to be principal, which I couldn’t do. I didn’t have the credentials yet. So, they made me dean of students, and I did that for three years while I received my master’s degree. That’s when they changed my title to principal, but I’d already been doing it all,” Webb adds. For him, it was an honor that was not without some unique situations. “There were great challenges to start with, especially with being an administrator after teaching for only a year. Being in a small district like that, there were some faculty that were real veterans of teaching. My approach has always been as a collaborative, democratic style of leadership, and that has served me greatly.” After seven years at Joppa, Webb served as superintendent at Thompsonville for three years before returning to his high school alma mater as superintendent. Not only was he coming home, he was taking
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over leadership of the school where his own children were enrolled. “Of course, our kids were here and I didn’t know how they would like that, so my wife Angie and I talked about that a lot. She comes from a big family, and I come from a big family. But, still, sometimes there are situations,” he says. “There are good things and bad things about going to your hometown. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not very popular. You sometimes find out who your friends really are — and your relatives, too.” Webb also found he had to almost reintroduce himself to the community. “As I went through school and came back, people didn’t know me as Steve Webb the superintendent. They knew me as a ball player and a basketball coach. I had to break through that barrier,” he says. He continues to try to break barriers. He works to bridge the gap between schools and the business community and even from school faculty to administration. “Every day when I come into this school district, I come in here, grab my coat and radio and go to the school,” he explains. “I grab a cup of coffee and try to hit all of the places teachers gather in the morning before going to their classrooms. I want to talk about their kids or about what they did over the weekend. I want to be seen as one of them. If nothing else, I want them to remember that I’m a teacher, and I try to do the same thing in the community.” Webb helped to spearhead the use of Tax Increment Financing programs in Goreville as a way of helping to build and strengthen the community. “When talk began about using a TIF as a way to generate revenue and to attract businesses to come here, I was squarely on board,” he says. “As these businesses come in, it makes people want to be part of the community. And, when you watch a community come together, it’s an incredible feeling to be part of that. It has long-scale benefits.” Webb says being the superintendent is a perfect fit for him. It’s like he was made for the job.
Did you know? S teve Webb is a huge fan of country music. His favorite group? ‘Alabama, by far,’ he says.
Southern Business Journal : May 2014 25
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